Weekend Snow Storm – The Public Works crews did another great job of clearing the streets during and after the winter storm this weekend. The crews were prepared with 12 salt trucks and 1500 tons of salt in storage. The night shift started Friday evening and continued to work into Sunday night to ensure that the streets are safe and passable. As expected, the extremely cold temperatures this weekend hampered our ability to completely remove snow from roadway surfaces. Ice formed quickly and de-icing chemicals are not as effective in very cold temperatures. This combined with periods of very heavy snow made it very difficult to completely remove all snow from roadways. Most roadways were cleared and passable Saturday, however many could not be cleared down to the asphalt surface. The warmer temperatures today allowed the de-icing chemicals to work and crews could more easily remove snow and ice from the streets.
Please remember to clear your sidewalks.

Recreation Center and Aquatic Center Busy – The Recreation Center and Aquatic Center have both been very busy this winter. Basketball and indoor soccer leagues are in full swing. The new fitness center has been very popular with the colder weather. The Recreation Center has been busy with rental groups and swim lessons have been popular at the Aquatic Center. Our indoor facilities have been extremely busy. When we have had a break in the weather, activity levels have increased in the Parks and our outdoor facilities. Demand for active recreation facilities in Blacksburg is very high.

Town-Gown Community Relations Committee – The Town-Gown Committee is currently in the process of redefining their committee vision to better define their role in the community. This will help bring focus to the group as they work to serve the combined Town and University community.

Blacksburg Transit Helps Virginia Tech Earn Recognition – Virginia Tech received a gold award for its alternative transportation programs, in the Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) Race to Excellence in December 2009. Virginia Tech was one of three higher education institutions in the nation to receive the gold award. The Race to Excellence is designed to encourage sustainable transportation innovation and recognize organizations that have taken exemplary steps to offer transportation alternatives for their employees, thereby reducing air pollution, traffic congestion, and fuel consumption. There were 27 companies, institutions, and individuals nationwide that competed in the 2009 Race to Excellence. The level of Blacksburg Transit ridership on campus and in the community was a major factor in Virginia Tech receiving this recognition.

Town Hall Renovation – This past week, Town Council approved a contract with a local architecture firm, Colley Architects, P.C., for design services to renovate the third floor offices in Town Hall. This space was vacated by the Planning and Building department and the Engineering and GIS department after the renovation of the Blacksburg Motor Company Building. The first phase of design will be a programming effort to best utilize this additional space for the remaining departments within Town Hall. Goals during construction include employing sustainable practices and creating a more energy efficient space within the renovated area. Much of the work will center around upgrades and repairs that have needed to be accomplished for years – such as a reliable elevator and upgraded HVAC system. The monies for these repairs have already been allocated in the budget. Any new work will be closely watched with an eye toward the budget.